Friday, 9 May 2014

The Art of War AAR and Photo Dump.

Hello All

Last weekend I went to The Art of War tournament in Sutton in Ashfield near Nottingham. The gaming hall the event was held in was a converted church and looked fantastic!
The tournament was Late War, 1750pts and the main restriction was Briefing book lists only (or no PDF's), there was also a slight restriction on army selection type based on your ranking. I had to take either a Tank list or a Mech lists, I choose a tank list and went with a Guard Tankovy list from Desperate Measures.
My army for the weekend.
As the event was up north (or t' north as they say up there) we drove up on the Friday, this would have been good for sleep and meant the drinking started early for the weekend, that would be true if the drive up hadn't been awful! A three and a half hour drive turned into almost six hours! But he did get there in time for last orders at the hotel bar! So slightly blurred eyed we got to the venue Saturday morning to find our first opponents.

Game 1 - Owen - StuG Battery - Encounter

Encounter... probably my least favourite mission... but hell you'll got to play them all in comps. I had never meet Owen before but he was very friendly and we had a good starting game. His army was 10 StuG/H's, 2 Tigers, motorbike recon, some Nebs and Hs129 with the big gun! I deployed both SU-100 platoons and my AA so stop his Tigers from rushing me, he deployed his Tigers, a platoon of StuG's and the Nebs. Neither of us did anything for the first 3 turns until our reserves turned up, at which point the game came alive.
 I had a brain fart and thought my T-34's could take on StuG's in a direct fight, they can't and it almost cost me a platoon on my right flank. On the Left flank the Tigers made a mess of some T-34's that deployed in a poor place. Then the plane came in and battered my SU-100's and some T-34's that were too close.
I got lucky can the Motorbike recon come on right in front of my AA who wiped them out and then my 2 remaining SU-100's on the left survived 6 shots from the Tigers and in return killed both of them! This freed up my army to attack and the game went back and fore but I had lost too many T-34's and Owen was able to take an objective. 3-4 to Owen.
Game 2 - Skip - Inns of Court - Counter Attack

Game two was against Skip. Skip is a regular to the tournament scene from Brighton who I have seen around but never had the pleasure to play. I turned up at the table a little late (the store owner was running myself and Alex through a game of Rivet Wars, which Alex picked), Skip had a little time to look at the board, my list and the mission, so after I introduced myself he said "well looks like a 6-1 to you!" I was a little taken aback but looking at it I thought he might have a point. All skip could defend his objective with was 4 25 Pounders, an infantry platoon, 2 bofors guns and a platoon of Shermans with two firefly's in ambush. I set up to charge straight for his objective thinking that with 4 platoons in reserve it would be harder to crack the far objective. So with that in mind I rammed my Soviets down Skips throat.
 Skips ambush gutted one of my T-34 platoons and caused me to be more aggressive! The gutted platoon had the chance to put both the 25pdr's and Bofors on a morale test, but was bounced by the two Bofors and his 1IC's 2pdr gun.... not a happy bunny at that point! They were then finished off by the ambushing Shermans. My other company of T-34's went on a rampage killing the 25pdrs, bofors, the infantry and finally a recon platoon on the far objective! Skip did a great job of staying in the game, helped by god reserve rolls (all his platoons turned up by turn 3!) and he took one of the T-34's off me and the AA, but was unable to stop the other T-34s from taking the objective, even though they were down to two tanks! 4-3 to me.
I need to say this was one of the best games I have ever had. Played in a brilliant spirit and was far more competitive than either of us thought it would be.

Game 3 - Jez Evans - 2nd ID (Overload)- Hold The Line

Next up was Jez and his 2nd ID. His list is quite infamous, it has 13 platoons 4 of which are artillery... I went into the game hoping to get a 5-2 lose as I didn't see much of a way of getting an objective off of 36 odd infantry with 10 Bazookas pointed at me.
 I was helped by an open board, my SU-100's targeted his artillery while my T-34's focused on taking out the AT guns and Towed Tank Destroyers. I rowed my luck and took very little damage from the artillery and ambushes. But when Jez ambushed his second platoon of infantry onto the objective I knew I had lost (thats how there was 36 infantry bases on the objective).
I was able to kill the AT Guns and Towed TD's and started to kill the artillery but I was also taking casualties and with time almost up we called it 4-3 to Jez.

Game 4 - Paul Cummings - 4th Armoured Rifles- Cauldron

So day two and despite the efforts of everyone to practically kill me with alcohol on the Saturday night I was in a great mood and hangover free! I got to play Paul Cummings and like Skip he was someone I had seen around a lot but not had the chance to play. He had an interesting list with Armoured Rifles with Abrams, I thought it was an odd choice and questioned it... well by the end of the game I saw how good a combo it is!
 Paul placed both Armoured Rifle platoons so each platoon cover each objective and put the Shermans in ambush. My forces with scattered quite badly, with T-34's front and on the right and SU-100's on the left (in hindsight I might have put both SU-100's on the board to force. Now this is were the Shermans started to wear down my T-34's, Storm Trooper and Stabilizers is brutal! Paul kept popping out and killing 2 or 3 tanks and pop back, then his M18's appeared in my back field and between and the Shermans they wiped out my center T-34's but at the cost of the M18's.
Pauls recon then had to come on and my Spetsnaz and AA appeared at the same side, between shooting and an assault I wiped them out. I then tried to get to Pauls Armoured mortars but he withdrew them off the board. I then lost my other company of T-34's and thought it was game over... Paul tired to break me by going after my AA, but as he stormtroopered he bogged with his Shermans and my Su-100's had a shot, which they took and wiped out the Shermans and then Paul failed his company morale test. 4-3 to me.
Great game which I thought I'd lost when my only option was to assault the infantry with SU-100's! But Paul rode his luck with the stormtrooper moves into and out of cover and it finally came back to hurt him.

Game 5 - Tom Brown - Hungarian Assault Gun Battery - Free For All

My final game was against Tom Brown, my same opponent from the last game at Corrivalry. This time he was using Hungarian assault guns, the same army I started the game with. His main threats was a unit of 3 German Panthers and a Hs129b. Tim hide most of his Assault guns in cover as he was a little worried about my SU-100's, I went aggressive and spread out my T-34's and SU-100's to cover as mush of the board as possible.
 I won the dice off and moved forward hugging cover as much as possible. Tom smoked a couple of Su-100's and shot at a few tanks before Stormtroopering back. I my second turn I wiped out his Nebs with the SU-100's and move into possible to get into his Assault Guns.
I lost a few more tanks to the plane and to the panthers before I went for it with the T-34's driving through a wood to get side shots on the Assault guns wiping out a platoon. at this point Tom counter attack with all his assault guns and I took a pasting. He gutted both platoons of T-34's. The last few T-34's got into position twice to get flank shots on the Panthers but failed to do anything.
Tom then went for the win and moved his recon biker up, but a lucky shot from my AA killed his platoon commander stopping them short of my objective and unable to move. I then lost a platoon of Su-100's and we were both in the position that the next platoon that died would cost us the game, well Tom's plane was the deciding factor and took out my AA. 4-3 to Tom.

Closing Thoughts

Overall this was the best tournament I have ever been to, well run, great prizes support and a fantastic atmosphere; Steve and Tim did a great job. I had 4 brilliant games and 1 good game with 5 great opponents.

Tim and Steve are already planning Art of War Too (yes too, not two) which will be EW in September and I think it's safe to say myself and Alex are both up for going.

The Venue (Sanctuary Gaming Centre) was also really good, plenty of room between tables and a both a shop to buy toys from and a little food store.

My performance was ok, felt i should have done better in a couple of games, but also did what I needed to do in the loses. I have been messing around with the list to try and give it more punch as I find it bleeds platoons if you don't win fast. I have a few ideas that will add more models to the list but also means dropping down to confident. Having said that with very few Late War comps left for me this year I'm not sure when I will get a chance to try the list out in anger.

Photo Dump
A couple of pictures stolen from Reluctant Veteran Blog, thanks Marc!

Thats what SU-100's do baby!
Andy Croft's 2nd and a half game of FOW, lost 5-2
Fez Man from the Fez-man Blog
My Wargaming girlfriend for the weekend looks happy... So to cheer him
here's a plug for his blog.
The Silver Fox digs his way out of another hole!
Andy Croft won best Beginner Painter
Alex Won Best newcomer until.... turned out Army Dave had won it!
Thanks for reading and until next time


1 comment:

  1. Nice,Wow the Models and terrain look amazing,But i hate to says this but for me i was more impressed with the Converted Church,I am a just a big fan of Historical Buildings,Heck i live in a Historic home.No new press board for me.